Mineralized soil has many benefits for your planted aquarium. It’s a way to provide aquarium plants with a nutrient-rich substrate while minimizing organics that could lead to algae outbreaks.
In this episode of the ScapeFu Podcast, Sean Murphy, who invented the intentional use of mineralized soil in planted aquariums, shares how he developed it, why he created a step-by-step recipe for making mineralized soil and how it benefits plants. It’s a fascinating interview. Go have a listen!
Aaron Talbot wrote, back in 2008:
“Mineralizing the soil beforehand helps to speed the breakdown of organic materials in the soil. In turn the mineralized soil will help shorten the initial algae outbreak period that many aquarists experience when using a soil substrate. Soil mineralization occurs from exposing bacteria, enzymes and other soil microbes to oxygen in a moist environment. The microbes break down the organic materials in the soil into bio-available minerals. As an added bonus these new bio-available forms of nutrients are generally only available to plants and not to algae.”
Here is a picture of mineralized soil with clay added:
Items on Mineralized Soil Mentioned:
- Aaron Talbot’s write up about Mineralized Soil and Sean’s recipe at APC
- GWAPA site
- Potter’s Clay
- Muriate of Potash
- Dustin’s Dirt
Found a very nice infographic that summarizes the mineralized soil recipe: